Africa News Togo: ruling party gets a majority in parliament

Togo: ruling party gets a majority in parliament

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The party of president Faure Gnassingbé has received a majority of 59 seats to the 91 of the national Assembly of Togo in the legislative of December 20, boycotted by the main opposition coalition and preceded by violence, according to the official results provisional published on Monday.

But the Union for the Republic (Unir) will have to appeal to its allies in the parliament to pass a constitutional reform that would allow president Gnassingbé to run for two other mandates so that his family governs already this small, poor country in West Africa in the past half-century.

Without the main opposition parties, which had denounced “irregularities” in the preparation of the ballot, the Unite could hope to win 4/5 of the seats in the parliament (73 mps from 62 currently) in order to adopt a constitutional reform allowing president Gnassingbé to represent themselves in 2020 and 2025.

In power since 2005, he succeeded his father, general Eyadéma Gnassingbé, who had ruled Togo with an iron hand for 38 years.

However, the presidential party is counting on its main ally, the Union of forces for change (UFC) of the ex-opponent historical Gilchrist Olympio, who arrived in second position with six members, and the self-employed to at least reach the threshold of the 73 deputies.

Ten lists of independents had won 18 seats.

In total, 850 candidates from 130 lists (105 to 12 political parties and 25 independent) took part in these elections.

The participation rate is officially nearly 60% of students enrolled, the parties boycotting the election and invited their supporters not to sign up on the lists.

These results will be forwarded to the constitutional Court, which has eight days to proclaim the final results, after considering any appeals.

After over a year of severe political crisis, and dozens of protest marches, some massive, the leaders of the main coalition of 14 opposition political parties (C-14) had not presented candidates and have no representation in Parliament.

They have always demanded greater transparency and constitutional reforms to allow for the limitation of the presidential mandate.

– “The struggle continues” –

“The coalition and the people have rejected any notion of elections in the conditions that prevail. Therefore, the results do not correspond to the expectations of the Togolese who have not participated”, said to AFP Nathaniel Olympio, president of the Party of Togolese and member of the coalition of the opposition.

“The fight continues and it will be even more tough after these elections”, he warned.

Observers from the african Union (AU) and the economic Community of African States West (Cédéao) had welcomed the good performance of these parliamentary elections in the quiet, under surveillance of the security forces.

The leaders of west african countries that have acted as mediators have welcomed Saturday in Abuja elections “free and transparent”, according to their road map for an exit of crisis in Togo.

They “strongly regretted” the boycott of the election by the C-14, “despite considerable efforts by the facilitators to encourage elections that are inclusive with the equitable participation of all the actors in the Céni”, the electoral commission.

The opposition has denounced the “bias” of the Cédéao and considers that it did not have sufficient representatives to the election commission for a free and fair vote. It also asserts that the constitution of the electoral lists had been sloppy.

Upstream of the ballot, the opposition had called for protests during a period of ten days, to require the stopping of the electoral process and called for a boycott. In sporadic violence pre-election, at least four people were killed – six according to the opposition – the 8 and 10 December in Lomé and in the centre of the country.

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